Kuwaiti expat health fees to soar

Gov’t is set to increase fees for expats using public health services to encourage them out of the system
Kuwaiti expat health fees to soar
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Mon 20 Apr 2015 12:11 PM

Medical fees are set to soar for expatriates in Kuwait after the government said it would raise them for public hospitals and health facilities.

Health Ministry under-secretary Dr Khalid Al Sahalawi said expats were clogging the public health system and causing long backlogs for x-ray and laboratory services, Kuwait Times reported.

The exact rise had not been confirmed but a report had been delivered to the Health Minister.

However, Al Sahalawi said fees would remain below the private sector.

“Medical services for expats in all government sector facilities will be 20 percent less than the private sector, while there are services that will be free including emergencies and accidents,” he was quoted as saying.

He also said the health insurance hospitals company would build three hospitals and 15 health centres specifically for expats to discourage them from attending public hospitals.

The government announced six new hospitals a decade ago but is yet to complete any.

The fee increase comes two years after the country introduced designated times that expats could attend some public health facilities, limiting them to the afternoon.

Expats are often targeted in Kuwaiti government policy as the country has struggled to cope with the influx of people straining public infrastructure including roads, schools and hospitals, as well as housing.

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